4th of July and the Slums -John

We arose early and were soon on the road to the Matugga girls home. When we arrived, we were awed by the new two story school building. The main structure is complete with only finish work needed.

The kids greeted us with “happy 4th of July” wishes, letting us know they wanted to wish the USA happy birthday.  Signs and drawings by the kids commemorated the holiday.  They were excited to show us their clean and well made up sleeping rooms. Since our last trip, a large cistern was added for fresh rain water collection. The sewing center was moved to a temporary tent structure until the school building is completed. At that point we anticipate the sewing school to be moved to a room in the new school building. Two ladies from a nearby village were teaching sewing skills along with minor machine repair. The sewing machines are new Singers but with treadle like your grandmother had.  After viewing the schools, we were guided down the road (with a child on each hand) about a mile to see the goat herd and new kids.  The day ended with hugs, goodbyes and a traffic filled drive for several of us to attend the local Rotary meeting. The meeting was fortuitous as it was the annual installation of new officers for the year and it was also attended by the local bishop.  We were introduced as the Oregon contingent and we were careful to credit Caleb as the person responsible for the ACCT group. After a brief meal, we returned to the guest home.

On the following day, July 5th, we enjoyed breakfast at the guest house and then took the bus to Kampala where we stopped by several pharmacies looking for deworming medicine for the kids in the slums. We arrived in the slums just in time to witness our feeding program— the Amahoro organization serves 3 lunches a week for around 40-60 kids of rice and cabbage. We are considering adding eggs for additional protein but the costs will double. After assisting in feeding the boys, we walked through some of the slum and the poverty was unimaginable. At the halfway house supported by Amahoro there are 10 – 20 boys sleeping in a 12′ x 12′ room. Its small and crowded, but at least it’s safe. Although the tour was uncomfortable for us, it was a necessity to understand the depth of their impoverishment.

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